Companies plan to cut their legal function spend over the next two years, according to a survey by EY which also highlights challenges to attracting top talent. 

Surveying more than 1,000 in-house lawyers across 25 jurisdictions, EY found that 82% of companies plan to reduce legal function costs, and 42% plan to do so by more than 10%.

The report says businesses are ‘exhausting a considerable amount’ of time and effort on routine or low-value tasks. Respondents indicated that more than a quarter of total hours were spent conducting routine compliance and low-value tasks. However, there was a general appetite for outsourcing, with contract management the top consideration.

Six in 10 lawyers said their companies had struggled to attract and retain the appropriate talent needed in today’s legal function. 

Cornelius Grossman, EY global law leader, said: ‘The findings support the generally acknowledged position that legal functions are increasingly being challenged to do more with less. New operating models will need to evolve to address these challenges.’